What Happened To Dennis Prager?
During his "Happiness" hour, the second hour of Friday's show, he read an announcement through his tears that he was getting divorced from his second wife Fran (who converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1988 to marry him).
He said he did not regard the marriage as a failure. That they had many good years together and had good kids.
Prager worried if his listeners would take his moral teachings less seriously because of his divorce.
After telling his three kids (one created from his first marriage, one inherited from Fran's first marriage, and one adopted with Fran), Prager said his next priority was to tell his listeners about his divorce.
In 2004, Prager cited personal reasons for not running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate to oppose Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.
Prager has always been staunchly opposed to reporting on private lives, including the private lives of public figures. He said it was a consideration that journalists would scrape through his life looking for scandal if he ran for public office.
Fran always seemed to have good relations with Prager's first wife Janice.
Fran is a leggy blonde and a former actress. Dennis has often said he couldn't speak so openly about such intimate topics as sex if he was not blessed with such a wonderful marriage.
Faith Vs. Reason
Dennis Prager on his radio show: "No one can give me enough data to get me to give up my belief that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. My belief is impervious to data. I admit it."
Prager, Medved, Hewitt: promoting a troubled charity
Prager had the head of Feed The Children on his show.
The first hour of Prager's show was a great hit. Dennis (a classical music buff) interviewed cultural commentator Steven D. Stark, who's just published Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World.
A caller said that the Beatles inspired him to devote his life to music. That the Beatles were the first rock group to write their own songs and this pressured other bands to do the same. If bands didn't write their own songs, they were viewed as lightweights. Yet most bands couldn't write good songs. Thus, the quality of rock music has dramatically declined, paving the way for talk radio and Dennis Prager.
Dennis Prager Vs. Christopher Hitchens On Meaning Of The Word 'Secular'
Prager is a religious Jew and Hitchens is an atheist. Hitchens said the United States was a secular society and Europe was religious (because many of Europe's states fund and support a state religion such as the Church of England (Anglican) and Germany requires its citizens to pay a tithe to a religious institution). Prager said that was ridiculous. A far higher percentage of Americans go to a house of worship regularly than Europeans.
Prager said "secular" meant the absence of religion. Hitchens said it meant the separation of church and state, that the state did not fund or control or was influenced by religion. Hitchens said one could be secular and still personally religious.
Prager consulted two dictionaries. They both supported Prager's meaning of the word. Hitchens' meaning of the word wasn't even listed.
I've always despised Christopher Hitchens. I think he's a poser and an empty attention-seeker. He's dishonest and bombastic. And today was just another example of his lying ways.
Hitchens said that the argument from design for God's existence was a primitive one, because then who made God?
This is a moronic. If anyone created God, then God wouldn't be God. God by definition wasn't created.
Prager was born August 2, 1948. Each year, as a birthday present to himself, he devotes an hour to listeners telling him how he's influenced their life. Prager says that once a year he will be the center of attention. Otherwise, he says "that's not my style."
He's delusional on this point. Prager is constantly making himself the center of attention. One of his annoying interviewing traits is how much time he takes to ponderously lecture guests on what his owns views are and how do they react to his opinions.
Prager constantly praises himself on air. He constantly iterates his own virtues (clear-thinking, smart, Ivy-league educated, speaks numerous languages, widely traveled, happily married, religious) and how he doesn't have certain vices (drinking, gambling, TV-watching, etc).
Why Do Jews Dress Up More For Synagogue Than Christians Do For Church?
Dennis Prager raised this on his show. He said you never see people coming to shul (in America anyway) in shorts as you do have Christians going to church.
I suspect that this reflects Judaism's focus on action while Christianity is more centered on the heart (and on faith). I've never heard a rabbi say, "It's what's in your heart that counts," and I heard that phrase all the time in my Christian upbringing.
I was raised a Seventh Day Adventists, and SDAs in America would never wear shorts to church. But SDAs, like Mormons, are more fervent than your average Christian. SDAs on average tithe ten percent of their incomes to the church while your average Protestant tithes 2% and average Catholic 1%.
A friend writes:
From Publishers Weekly:
Dr. Sowell was Prager's guest Monday.
James Q. Wilson reviews Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything in the July/August issue of Commentary Magazine:
She drips with contempt for her subject as I drip with contempt for her piece. The reader will have to judge whose contempt is most worthy.
Her lead: "Conservative Jewish radio host Dennis Prager is expanding his audience-into the bleeding heart of the liberal media he so eschews."
According to my ninth edition of Websters Dictionary, "eschew" means: "to avoid habitually esp. on moral or practical grounds: shun syn see ESCAPE"
Anybody who has spent an hour or two listening to Prager knows that he regularly cites the liberal media. In fact, he cites it more often than the conservative media. He has long said that the best daily general interest newspaper is the liberal New York Times.
Prager has long written for liberal media such as The LA Times and given numerous interviews to such outlets.
Prager does many things to the liberal media but "eschew" is not one of them.
Nor has Prager ever sworn off publishing in the liberal media or talking to it. So there's nothing unusual in his accepting the invitation to write for The Times.
Amy writes: "This past week, in “Evil Targets God’s Chosen,” Prager attempts to tie the London terror attacks to Jews being the chosen people. Prager also wrote two other recent columns. In “Our Father Is No ‘It’ or Gal God,” he asserted that God should be masculine. In “The (Culture) War of the Word,” he divided the world into people who believe the Bible is literally from God and those who don’t."
There are many ways to summarize the essence of Prager's column, but "attempts to tie the London terror attacks to Jews being the chosen people" is particularly shoddy.
By the way, for a Jew to deny that the Jews are God's Chosen People and His representatives on earth who are going to attract the hatred of evil, is to deny one's Jewish identity and to deny Jewish history, particularly over the past 70 years. The essence of Judaism is that the Jews are God's Chosen People. To identify as Jewish yet deny this is stupid. The world keeps trying to wipe out the Jews. So unless you believe you are God's reps with a special work to do, why would you set yourself and your children up for genocide?
Prager's column was normative Judaism but Klein presents it as the work of an extremist crackpot.
As for Klein's claims about Prager's second column that Prager "asserted that God should be masculine," this is pure nonsense. Prager, along with Judaism, has always held that God is neither masculine or feminine. Prager simply argued that we should refer to God with the male pronoun for many reasons, including that humans need to view God as a lawgiver and judge more than as the quintessence of compassion.
As for Klein's claim: "In “The (Culture) War of the Word,” he divided the world into people who believe the Bible is literally from God and those who don’t."
Prager's column offered an explanation of the culture war in America (rather than divided the world as Klein claimed). He wrote:
“I represent the large number of Jews and Christians who believe the Torah is a divine book,” Prager told The Journal.
This is typical Prager. Accurate but unbelievably arrogant sounding. No wonder Klein hates him.
I got this email:
Dennis Prager was interviewing an author and political scientist (Professor J. Budziszewski) who returned to Protestant Christianity before converting to Roman Catholicism.
Dennis: "You should write an autobiography."
Professor: "I've been asked to write a little bit about my story. It might be good for others to read but it wouldn't be good for me to write."
Dennis: "I'm Jewish. I don't have that problem."
Dennis Prager Autographs Copies Of The Bible
On his radio show May 13, Dennis talked about all the different things people ask him to sign, including entrance tickets, newspapers, and books that other people wrote, including the Bible. He said he always feels funny about autographing a Bible as he believes the author of that book is G-d.
Maybe some of these Prager-autographed Bibles are available on EBay? How much would you pay for a Prager-autographed Bible?
Dennis castigated Newsweek for publishing a report a rumor that a U.S. interrogator in Guantonomo Bay flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet (Newsweek was unable to substantiate the rumor). Does one have to report everything? "What about the consequences of reporting such a thing? Newsweek should never have published it. It's not useful. Newsweek is responsible for the dead and destroyed buildings" in the rioting stimulated by this report.
"If Muslims want to riot, they should riot at the Muslims doing evil in the name of Islam. I believe every good Muslim would agree with what I said. Who really desecrates their text? The outsider or the insider."
Muslims have done comparable things to Christian texts and there was no Christian rioting. Arabs took over Jewish holy places (prior to 1967) and turned tombstones into urinals and there were no Jewish riots that killed people and destroyed buildings.
How would one go about flushing a Koran down the toilet? Isn't it a large book? You'd have to do it page-by-page.
From the Times of London May 14:
From the AP, May 15: "KABUL, Afghanistan -- Muslims in Afghanistan gave Washington three days to offer a response to a Newsweek story that claimed the Islamic holy book was desecrated at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, but the magazine apologized Sunday for the report, which prompted deadly riots across Afghanistan last week."
Prager mentions he weighs 255-pounds.
Dr. David Myers Emails Dennis Prager
On Tuesday, Dennis said on his radio show that he won Monday's debate against Dr. Myers.
On Wednesday, 5/4/05, Dennis read an email from Dr. Myers, which the professor said could be read on DP's radio show as long as he read it in full:
Dennis: "The superficiality and idiocy of this letter is only possible at the university. So I've invited the professor on so we can debate this. This is how the Left thinks. He is a perfect paragon of it. If you believe there is a moral difference between civilizations, you therefore hate all the members of that other civilization. This is how the Left engages in moral equivalence."
At 11:06am, Dr. Myers phoned in.
Dennis: "Dr. Myers, I consider it a foolish letter because you do not understand the difference between moral comparison and group hatred. But you have the floor."
Dr. Myers: "You engage in sweeping and dangerous group characterizations, which fail to distinguish between Islam, the great world religion, and Muslims as a whole, on the one hand, and those who interpret Islam in an errant and diabolical fashion.
"Jews throughout much of the medieval and early modern period faired considerably better under Islam than they did under Christianity. There was not a tradition of Crusades, of demonization of the Jews, of forced conversion.
"We cannot ascribe sweeping fixed categories to one group of people. That is what I found most disturbing about our debate and that is something we should discuss."
Dennis: "I don't know why you found it disturbing because I did not mention Islam once [in Monday's debate]. I had nothing to say about Islam, which is a great religion. I have something to say about Palestinian society vis-a-vis Israeli society. That there is no moral comparison between the two. That you think that they are morally equivalent is part of the reason I think that kids are getting moral nonsense taught to them at university."
Dr. Myers: "I don't think that they are morally equivalent."
Dennis: "So you believe Israel is a morally superior society to Palestinian society?"
Dr. Myers: "Suicide bombing is an abomination."
Dennis: "That is irrelevant to my point. Do you believe that they are morally equivalent societies?"
Dr. Myers: "I don't believe that they are morally equivalent societies because it is very difficult to measure the degree of morality of a society."
Dennis: "You are not prepared to say Israel is a morally better society than the Palestinians?"
Dr. Myers: "I am not prepared to say that the entirety of the population is morally superior..."
Dennis: "Oh, come on. That was demagoguery. Nobody said every Israeli or every Palestinian. I'm talking the sum total. Are gays treated better? Women treated better? Dissenters treated better in Israel?"
Dr. Myers: "We have different ideas of what constitutes morality."
Dennis: "I agree with you."
Dr. Myers: "I believe morality is individual and is measured by action."
Dennis: "Mine too."
Dr. Myers: "To inveigh against Palestinian society constantly... I would call your attention to, you as an advocate of situational ethics, should take stock of the fact that attitudes change. For example, you suggest that a majority of Palestinians support suicide bombing. I would suggest you take a look at the most recent survey (March 2005) by Shitaki..., the most important demographer in Palestinian society and will be teaching at Brandeis University next year, shows that Palestinian support for suicide bombing has plummeted to 29%. That is far too high."
Dennis: "Plummeted from what?"
Dr. Myers: "Seventy seven percent. When the window of opportunity for peace is open, there will be a significant shift in attitude, including in the support for suicide bombing."
Dennis: "When it was 77%, would you have been prepared to say that there was a moral gulf between Israel and the Palestinians?"
Dr. Myers: "I would've been prepared to say then that that was extremely disturbing."
Dennis: "I don't care whether it was disturbing. I'm not talking about emotions. I'm for negotiations and the withdrawal from Gaza."
Dr. Myers: "When there is a movement towards peace, there is a shift in attitudes."
Dennis: "That's not why. The shift in attitudes came because it [suicide bombing] was worthless and useless. It did nothing but make the Israelis weaker and make the Palestinians look like [evil]."
Dr. Myers: "When there are changes in historical conditions, there are also changes in moral attitudes."
Dennis: "You have been incapable throughout this dispute, when it was at 79% [support for suicide bombing], that there was a moral gulf between Israel and its enemies. That moral equivalence is what is typical of what is taught at the university. You are an example of it."
Dr. Myers: "I see the university as a place where diverse, important life-saving research takes place...
"I am very unsettled by something in your representation of the university. You inveigh against the university repeatedly. I don't know the way of radio, so you will have to instruct me. And yet you a pitchman, and a very effective one, for a college preparatory course. Is not the end result of a college preparatory course entry into a university?"
Dennis: "I'm asked that all the time. I have contempt for the liberal arts, not the natural sciences. The rejection of the ability to search for truth... When the president of Harvard says one possible reason for the lack of women in engineering and science is that male and female brains differ in those aptitudes and he is pillored as though he is a medieval inquisitor..."
Dr. Myers: "We are not to study language, history... These are liberal arts."
Dennis: "No. Are you available for more or do you have to go?"
Dr. Myers: "No. I have to go teach a class."
Dennis: "Do I have the time in your class that I gave you on my show?"
Dr. Myers, after a pause: "You have ten minutes in my class."
Dennis: "I would give you more on this..."
Fade to four minutes of advertising.
Dennis: "One can say, this is a safer neighborhood than the other neighborhood. Every major city has safer and less safe neighborhoods. Do you hate the people in the less safe neighborhood? It's a non-sequitar. One hates all members of a civilization that one thinks is on a morally-lower plane? Isn't a society that protects its women on a higher plane than a society that doesn't?"
A caller points out it was contradictory of Dr. Myers to argue that medieval Muslim society treated Jews better than medieval Christian society and then say you could not assess a society's morality.
Jerry, an acquaintance of mine and a student of Dr. Myers, phones in and says how wonderful his professor is.
Dennis: "There is nothing more frightening than a person living in a decent society who is unable to judge the difference between decent and indecent societies. [Dr. Myers] is a gentleman with scary ideas.
"We may agree on the roadmap to peace but he still scares the daylights out of me...because he can not say the United States is morally superior."
Dr. Jason Winfrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) calls in. He says he's a professor in sports management at the University of Michigan. He says he would rather not have that on the air.
Prager points out he is on the air.
Jason wants to speak out for his conservative values but he feared it would hurt him getting tenure.
Prager empathized and said it might make sense to keep quiet until he gets tenure.
DP: By calling what happened at Abu Ghraib torture, it cheapened the word 'torture.' The Left has cheapened the battle against rape, racism...and the suffering of real victims.
Dennis said the headline and lead were misleading if only one in five mothers feel less valued.
Dennis says: What percentage of men would say they felt valued by society because of their work? And men don't usually have the choice to stay at home and be dads. How much respect would we give a fulltime dad? Dennis can't remember meeting a fulltime dad (then he remembers Andre Bologh, the violinist and fulltime dad, married to a doctor).
DP: We get far more stories about women's problems than men's problems because women complain more. You have an entire department at university devoted to women complaining -- women's studies.
Dennis and a caller said it was usually women who give a hard time to women who leave work to devote themselves to their children and home.
Prager says it is not motherhood as such that is less respected but anything to do with children (as opposed to Israel where teachers are venerated). There's a dearth of child psychiatrists, according to an article Prager read years ago. There was a quote that there was less prestige in child psychology than adult psychiatry (even though child psychiatry requires more training).
Then Prager started thinking -- an elementary school teacher gets less respect than a high school teacher who gets less respect than a college professor. If you said you taught Medieval Bestiality at the local university, you'd get more respect than fulltime mothering.
One reason is money. Another reason -- what men do, feminists value.
DP: The only groups I know that respect work with children is religious groups. That's the only group that has a fair number of male teachers of young children. In Orthodox Judaism, you will have a lot of rabbis teaching kids (while in public school, male kindergarten teachers make up about 1% of teachers).
DP: When I was in the Soviet Union, half the doctors were women and being a doctor got less respect. Is it true that when women pour into a profession, it gets less respect? Airline pilot gets respect. If half of such pilots were women, would it have less respect?
LF: The Marines are the most respected of the US Armed Forces and they are the most exclusive and least open to women.
A female caller said fulltime mothers who value their own responsibilities are not slighted by others' opinions.
The wife of Prager's producer Allen Estrin, Susie, does an ad with Dennis for Regenex (to regenerate thinning hair, just what I need).
UCLA. Moore Hall. Room 100. Dennis walks in at 4:58pm, after a long plane flight following his 9am-12pm radio show. I'd describe him as the jolly giant. Heads turn and look at him.
Dennis walks up to Dr. Myers (tall, bespectacled and slender), shakes hands, and banters. I spot his blonde Persian intern and his beautiful blonde wife Fran. I don't see his son David, a UCLA-student.
The tall old black moderator sits in the center of the stage -- Dr. Berky Nelson.
The event was advertised as starting at 5pm prompt. It doesn't start until 5:20 and then there are 10-minutes of useless introductory speeches. With at least 200 people in the audience, I'd place a monetary value on the stolen time at least $1,000. Thanks organizers.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Progressive Jewish Students Alliance and UCLA Events.
Barry (?) from PJSA gives a meandering incoherent introduction and says: "...[E]vents that take place here in Israel."
Prager opens the debate with a six-minutes salvo. He says he's often argued liberally for peace in the Middle East. He's often said (up to 2001) that he can't stand the Israeli Right. Prager supported the Oslo Accords (but since 2001 he's said that was a mistake). "For real peace, I'd be willing to compromise on anything.
"I spoke at Stanford two years ago. I was there for a week giving lectures. It coincided with Israel's Independance Day. I spoke briefly at the celebratory rally for Israel. I said it is sad that we have an imbalance -- most Israelis crave peace and most Palestinians crave Israel's destruction. Every poll we have acknowledges that.
"A woman came over afterwards. She said, 'I'm a peace activist and I don't agree with what you said. The Palestinians absolutely want peace with Israel.'
"I said, 'I'll make you a $5 bet.' There were Palestinians demonstrating 50-feet away from us. 'Go to every one of them...and ask them: 'Are you prepared to make peace with the Jewish state of Israel?'
"She comes back ten minutes later. She says she's not sure. 'Everyone I asked if they would make peace with the Jewish state of Israel said, 'What do you mean?'' I said, 'Well, you owe me $5 but I won't collect.'
"That's the whole point. It's one of the incredible events of my lifetime that the obvious is denied. The vast majority of Palestinians do not want the Jewish state of Israel to exist. They think it is wrong. That it is a tragedy, a disaster from 1948 on. It is on their soil and it has no place. The vast majority of Israelis think the Palestinians do have a right to a Palestinian state.
"Everything else...is commentary. One side wants the other obliterated. I say this as someone...who cried when Rabin and Arafat shook hands because I am a naive peace-loving Jew. Jews generally ache for peace because we do not have the power not to have peace and because our tradition calls for it. There are few Jews who want to keep making war. But there is a deep belief on the other side that with enough time, they win. If enough Israelis are slaughtered in cafes and on buses...they will go away.
"That Jewish peace activist in Stanford was surprised to find not one Arab Palestinian leftist activist was willing to say, yes, we want peace with the Jewish state of Israel. Peace with Israel not a Jewish state is ethnic cleansing and Jews have had enough of that in the 20th Century."
Most of the crowd applauds.
Dr. Myers speaks for six minutes. He says Israel can no longer hold on to the occupied territories. He agrees with Ariel Sharon on a lot of things.
I remember discussing these things with Dr. Myers at temple in the summer of 2001. He wanted to write a book on why he no longer supported a Jewish state in the present state of Israel. When I mentioned that Beth Jacob Orthodox rabbi Steven Weil had articles supporting Sharon on his office, Dr. Myers was shocked. "I heard [Rabbi Weil] was a nice man," he said. "You can't be a nice man and support Sharon?" I asked. Dr. Myers said no.
Dr. Myers can sound moderate when he wants to but make no mistake -- he's Left. About 40% of the audience applauds.
Dennis: "Israel already offered all of this at Camp David in the last months of the Clinton administration. President Clinton, who was facile with words, said it was Arafat's fault that it broke down. Dennis Ross said [the same thing]. A contiguous state was already offered. Palestinians responded to a breathtaking offer by murdering a record number of Israeli children... That's what Israel has gotten every time it made overtures for peace.
"I support overtures for peace and I support the pull-out from Gaza. But I live in reality. I don't live at UCLA."
There's widespread laughter and applause. The crowd is 75% students.
"The Palestinians have greeted every Israeli overture for peace by blowing up as many [innocent] Israelis as possible and inventing new forms of torture such as putting rat poison on nails... The great majority of Palestinians support terror against Israel. These [suicide bombers] are the martyrs of the Palestinians. These are the heroes. Their posters are all over declaring how great they are. The more Israelis you kill, the more suffering you inflict on innocent Jews, the better a human being you are the and the more virgins you get in Heaven. That is the civilization Israel is fighting.
"Though that is true, I am willing to take the risks...
"My greatest hesitation in coming here was not that I shun debate. I debate for a living. My hesitation is the chutzpah involved in anybody from America telling Israel what to do for peace. I am blown away by the notion that we who sit in such comfort and security have the audacity to tell Israelis how to risk their lives. I direct that particularly at the American Jewish community."
"I always contend that because my children are American and growing up in America, who the hell am I to tell Israelis what risks to take. I say this to the right-wing as much as to the left. When right-wing American Jews attack left-wing Israeli prime ministers and when left-wing American Jews attack right-wing Israeli prime ministers I am annoyed.
"Israel is a perfectly functioning democracy. If you don't like who they choose, and you are a Jew, move there and talk any way you want."
Dr. Myers: "As members of the Jewish nation, we have an obligation to express our concern when Israeli policy affects Jews around the world."
Dr. Myers keeps referring to the new leadership of the Palestinian Authority.
Dennis: "I'd like to ask Dr. Myers a question he can answer on his next turn. He keeps saying Yassir Arafat is dead. I wrote a column entitled, 'Is it OK to hope anyone in Hell?'
"Did Dr. Myers speak differently when Arafat was living? Was he then as harsh on Arafat and the Palestinians as they deserved to be in that bygone era?"
Dr. Myers didn't answer the question, even though Prager repeated it, so let me answer it for Dr. Myers: The good professor had a similar approach to the Palestinians and their leadership under Arafat as he does today.
Dennis: "From the little I did read on the internet, he was just as anti the description of Arafat and the Palestinians as terrorists when [Arafat] was living and blowing up Israeli children as now that he is dead.
"I'd like to note that Dr. Myers says there are winds of change of democracy in the Arab world, something I celebrate. Whatever winds of change are there are thanks to someone I know Dr. Myers did not support -- George W. Bush.
"To have so opposed this man who made democracy possible and then to celebrate the winds of change..."
About the settlements: "I don't have any great joy in having Israeli settle among people who hate their guts. But I don't know why it is ok for a quarter of Israel to be Arab but it is not ok for any percentage of the Palestinian Authority to be Jewish? The notion of the West Bank being Judenrein when the attachment of the Jewish people [for 3,200 years] to that area [is deep]... Palestinians are a new [about 100-years old] national entity.
"If the Palestinian position is that this state must not have Jews in it, and I don't know if this has changed since Arafat died, that Jews have no historical rights or basis there... Arafat said Jesus was a Palestinian, and I don't know any Palestinian who contradicted him, echoed what the Nazis said -- that Jesus was an Aryan. The attempt to deny anything Jewish to the Jews in the most Jewish place in the world, a place saturated with Jewish bones and Jewish history, is not healthy. Opposition to settlements is a figleaf for a denial of reality of Jewish existence in that area. And you can't have peace if one side denies the other's historical bonds to the place."
Dr. Myers: "So how should we resolve those competing historical claims? Should we just fight it out to the last survivor? That makes no sense. Settlements are antithetical to peace. Settlements, according to most legal observers, are in contravention of international law (Fourth Geneva Convention, UN Resolution 242)..."
Dr. Myers does much of his speaking directly to Dennis across the stage. Dennis sits and looks either straight ahead or down. Dennis rarely if ever looks over at Dr. Myers while the professor speaks. When Dennis speaks, he addresses the audience. That makes sense. It's not like David or Dennis are going to change the other's mind.
Dennis: "I will leave it to Dr. Myers' students to ask him in class if, when Arafat was Prime Minister, or dictator, whatever title, whether Dr. Myers was characterizing Arafat and the Palestinians in the way they deserved to be characterized. Since he keeps making the differentiation that [Arafat's] dead and we have a new world among the Palestinians. Again, I pose that question. Perhaps you'd rather speak about it to your students and not to us.
"About international law -- there are major jurists who have different takes on the settlements given that Israel's war was entirely defensive [in 1967]... Jordan lost the West Bank because they went into a war of genocide to destroy Israel. They declared their intentions genocidal and Israel survived it. Then Israel's supposed to go back, as if this is all a game of cards. Ok, next gin rummy game.
"Second, morality and law are not the same. The international community, academia and media utterly condemned Israel's  bombing of [Iraq's nuclear reactor]. I'm sure there wasn't one UCLA professor who defended Israel's attacking of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program. It was condemned by every major newspaper in this country except for the Wall Street Journal. When Sudan is made the head of the Human Rights commission at the UN, I know to take it [international opinion] with a grain of salt."
Dr. Myers: "Thirty years later, the settlements are still there and you're stuck with the same old rhetoric. Living in your world of Olympian moral heights, a world of absolute moral virtue, a world in which the Jew is incapable of an act on injustice...that seems to me moral relativism."
He says that Israelis and Palestinians supported peace negotiations in equal numbers. That Americans and Israelis should economically invest in the Palestinian state, fix their sewage and give them a light-rail system, and that would morally elevate Palestinian political culture and make them see homicide bombing is a moral abomination.
Dennis: "I would love to see Americans and Israelis help Palestinians see terrorists as moral abominations.
"I feel that when I come to universities that I have entered a different sort of world, where people believe that Americans and Israelis can teach Palestinians basic morality, that blowing up innocent people is a moral abomination. It's bizarre to me. Either your culture teaches you that or it doesn't. That Americans would teach Palestinians that rat-poisoned bombs are bad, I feel like I'm entering The Twilight Zone.
"I have more respect for Palestinians, perhaps, than Professor Myers. Either they will teach themselves what basic morality entails or they will not learn it. Americans and Israelis are the last people in the world to shape the moral vision of Palestinians.
"I heard from Dr. Myers that the yearning for peace was the same among Israelis as among Palestinians. Can anybody sing me any of the Israeli peace songs so popular among Israelis? Of course. Anyone who knows Israel can sing any peace song. Israelis go nuts for peace. They OD on yearnings for peace. How many peace songs were played on Palestinian radio? Maybe it was a Palestinian yearning for peace without the little caveat of the Jewish state of Israel like Germans yearned for peace with Poland [before WWII]."
Dr. Myers: "Adolf Hitler is dead, sir."
A quarter of the audience applauds.
Dr. Myers: "From your Olympian moral heights, I'm astonished at your demonized vision of the Palestinians."
Dr. Myers: "This kind of demonization, sir, is dangerous and should be avoided.
"What I had in mind was not sending our best representative of virtue over to the Palestinian territories, Dennis Prager... What I had in mind was economic investment so that sewage does not flow through the streets of refugee camps and parents can put food on the table for their children. So parents can provide an education for their children. This will require a monumental investment by the rest of the world and Israelis...and [move along] an important path towards the maturation of Palestinian culture."
Moderator for Prager: What role can we hope for Israel to play in the Arab world?
Dennis: "That it is not sending moral Olympians like me but economic development of Palestine that will that will stop the celebration of people who blow up children... Marx lives. The notion that economics determines morality. One has to visit the temple of the Left to believe such nonsense.
"We were attacked by wealthy Arabs on 9/11. The leader terrorist of the world [Osama Bin Laden] is a billionaire. He makes more than any university professor.
"This notion that if we only give them lightrail and clean up the sewage in the refuge camps they will stop celebrate death. It is painful to hear it is so wrong. Why the hell are there refugee camps? Has there ever been a more disgusting treatment of one's fellow ethnics than Arabs of Palestinians?"
"I have never argued that Israel has never committed any immoralities. I'm sure that Israelis engage in immorality as much as any other group on earth. I am sure they could treat Palestinians with much greater respect at checkpoints, for example. But the comparison between the cultures is not comparable. One is death-oriented and one is life-oriented. This is not demonizing. They are self-demonizing.
"What role? With peace, it will be perfectly understandable. Palestinians will meet Israelis. Israelis will meet Palestinians. With the low level of Jewish identity among many secular Israelis, there will be a vast amount of intermarriage. If the Arabs had been smart in 1948, they would've accepted the small state of Israel and it would've assimilated except for some ultra-Orthodox Jews.
"But it is moral sewage cleanup, not physical sewage cleanup that is necessary in that part of the world.
"I know Hitler and Arafat are dead. I feel like obituaries are being read to me. It's really helpful for the discussion. Arafat is dead. Palestinians now believe in life. I'm happy I came to UCLA."
Widespread laughter and applause.
Dr. Myers: "You're saying don't get up [and let Palestinians suffer]. It is not our responsibility and it is not in our interest. No."
Dennis: "I, who don't want to lecture Middle Easteners what to do, can hardly be accused of lecturing from Olympian heights. I object to this whole thing of people sitting in LA telling Israelis and Palestinians what to do. And I'm being chided for speaking from Olympian heights?
"I don't think we have anything to say to these people. It is not our business. We have meddled all the time to bail them out from dealing with one another. The West has given the Palestinians billions of dollars, which we don't know where they are because Arafat hid them in Swiss banks. But this doesn't matter in Palestinian culture. The West is responsible. Not the Saudis with their gourging oil prices...
"Abbas is the duly elected president of the Palestinians and Israel has to talk to him [no matter what Abbas has said or done].
"I live with reality, but I don't fool myself about the moral stature of those I have to deal with. The Palestinians have given evil a new name.
"I believe Abbas is better than Arafat.
"Dr. Myers quoted Abbas in Haaretz [saying the Holocaust was a tragedy]... I'd be interested if that was broadcast in any Palestinian medium in Arabic. What Palestinians say to gullible Israelis, gullible Jews in universities, and elsewhere, and what they say in Arabic to their own people have never had any similarity.
"I'd love to hear him say that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and nothing comparable has taken place with Arabs. It is inconceivable that that would be said."
The crowd is overwhelmingly well-behaved for such an emotional topic.
Each man gets a five-minute closing statement.
Dennis: "Christian Palestinians are as nationalistic as Muslim Palestinians, but there is a moral gulf between the average Christian Palestinian and the average Muslim Palestinian. No Christian Palestinian believe that they go to Heaven and Jesus blesses them if they blow up Jewish children. If you can not see this moral gulf, you are willfully blind.
"Thanks for having me."
6:40pm. I walk past Prager. He's walking to his car with his wife. He's surrounded by a dozen students. I overhear him tell one young woman, "There's a lot of suffering in the world... We can't..."
I'm out of earshot.
Here's the bloodless UCLA Daily Bruin article, which fails to mention the crowd cheered one person (Prager) far more than the other.
Straight Talk About Talk Show Hosts
Dennis: "Being a Democract means calling evil evil after conservatives have conquered it."
Prager mentioned that Thomas Friedman of The NYT wrote today that it is inevitable that we will win in Iraq. Prager also refers to the first Gulf war to free Kuwait and the overthrow of communism.
Prager remembered being excoriated at Columbia graduate school for Russian studies by the future National Security advisor to president Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brezinski, for calling the Soviet Union "totalitarian." Zbigniew told Prager that we don't use that kind of term about Russia because we don't know that it is true.
Prager: "I want to talk about how feminists celebrated a woman [Andrea Dworkin] whose most famous idea was that all sex with men, even the most loving marital sex, is rape.
"So she became a lesbian and married a gay man.
"Gloria Steinem said Andrew Dworkin changed history. In her eulogy, Steinem said Dworkin changed the way people think.
"When women say that their feminists but they don't buy this nonsense, then what makes them a feminist?
"Feminists have not stood up for Arab women (Afghanistan, Iraq and places where honor-killing is honored).
"Dworkin said the only difference between a whore and a wife was the number of men involved.
"And she was considered to be a major feminist thinker."
Wendy from Chicago calls. She said she believed what Dworking advocated and it almost wrecked her marriage.
Prager: "The secular leftist brainwash at college is a big subject on this program. You have kids in a hermetically sealed environment... The university is not dissimilar from a cult politically speaking. That's why when conservatives show up, they routinely have pies thrown in their face or salad dressing. That someone would believe that all sex is rape. Do you understand how that cheapens rape? The first people who should be angry at Andrea Dworkin should be people who've been raped. That's the first group who should spit on her grave. But feminism doesn't care about raped women. They care about crapping on men."
Prager wants to do an hour on his radio show on the things you learn in college that you have to learn as adult. "How colleges play with the brains of students, especially female students. Teaching these ideas [Dworkinite at times] about men. Women's studies courses are overwhelmingly taught by disfunctional women like the late Andrea Dworkin.
"She married the last five years of her life, but she was a confirmed lesbian on ideological grounds. She married a gay man. That's a good example of where gays can marry."
Caller: Her theory was that all intercourse is a power-play, such as in prison. There's some truth to that.
Dennis looks at the Forbes 400 richest persons and notes only 27 went to elite universities. Dennis says it is not necessary for most people to go to college (unless you want to become a teacher or professor or a professional -- law, medicine, etc).
Dennis says the only reason that college is necessary for the ambitious is that many employers won't employ someone who only has a highschool diploma.
Dennis doesn't mention why employers do this -- because it is illegal for them to test job applicants for IQ. So college education is the substitute for IQ testing.
Dennis says IQ testing is bunk, but outlawing it, say the authors of the book The Bell Curve, costs the US economy billions of dollars.
Prager Says Boeing Was Wrong To Fire Adulterous CEO
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis said he understood the arguments for firing the CEO but that people who supported that do not understand his arguments against it.
Do you want companies to fire employees who have extramarital affairs? Do you want companies to fire employees who disrespect their parents? Was it ok for Harvard to fire a dean who had pornography on his computer?
Why didn't G-d fire King David, who not only committed adultery but murder?
This is part of a larger trend of companies monitoring the private behavior of their employees, including whether they smoke at home.
Prager quoted approvingly from a policeman who says that people have three lives -- public, private and secret.
I learned more about Dennis Prager today than I wanted to know. Prager said he never uses the plastic and paper toilet seat coverings that many public toilets, such as on airplanes, offer. Prager said he doesn't know anyone who does use such things.
If his food falls on the floor, Dennis says he will often pick it up and eat it.
Dennis Prager's Latest Insight
BT writes on alt.radio.talk 2/17:
In his second hour, Dennis Prager had Hugh Hewitt as his guest. Hugh talked about his new book on blogging.
Hugh and Dennis exchanged jocularity over this new age where millions of people have blogs. Hugh and Dennis said they realized that any speech they gave was on the record. Dennis said he often has people ask him if it is ok to tape his speeches. He says he always says ok because he knows that somebody in the audience is going to tape with or without his permission.
I remember in 1998 a guy was escorted out of Stephen S Wise temple one Saturday morning for attempting to tape Prager's lecture. When I wrote innocuous highlights of Prager's sermons, often delivered before hundreds of people, I received enormous aggravation from Prager and Prager's friends.
Dennis threatened that if I ever taped one of his Shabbat morning sermons, he would call for the security guards to take me away.
I do think there is a special intimacy to religious services but I'm not sure they should be completely off-the-record.
Robert Barnett writes:
Alison Armstrong of Understandmen.com said on the Dennis Prager show that Valentine's Day is a disaster. It makes single women feel horrible. It puts pressure on men to read a woman's mind to know what she wants.
Men are evolutionarily designed towards hunting while women are gatherers. For women to survive historically, they've had to be attuned to what the men they need want. So women naturally remember important things about a man's preferences. Women think they do this because they love their boyfriend or husband, but they do the same thing for other important men in their lives. Women remember these things because they've been programmed to do so and it is effortless for them.
Once a man has hunted and captured a woman, he does not usually have the sensitive antennae to intuit what she wants.
Dennis: "I have not made many predictions in my life, but the ones I have made have materialized."
I wonder if he remember his prediction circa 1992 that Bob Dole would never be nominated to run for president because of some harsh remarks he made about Israel. In 1996, Dole was the Republican nominee.
Dennis says secular universities are more likely to have a porn star give a commencement speech than a conservative thinker.
There are distinct advantages at universities. You can go to the bathroom with a member of the opposite sex. You don't have uni-sex bathrooms outside of the university.
Dennis Prager watched a documentary on the children of hookers in India (Born Into Brothels). He found it riveting. He says that these kids were happier and less cynical than ordinary American kids.
Dennis found the Super Bowl game boring. He had guests over. He didn't learn anything from the announcers. Instead, they confused him. For the second half, Prager turned the sound down.
Prager got tears in his eyes watching the salute to the military prior to kick-off. The salute to our troops in Iraq and the cheering that went up. It was as loud as for the support for our troops in Afghanistan. "This is a turning point in America. I didn't know I would live to see a day when the American military would be so honored."
Dennis Prager Thinks He's Funny
While I think Prager is often funny in person, I've never found him amusing (except for unintentional slips) on the radio (during the 17 years I've been listening to him). And when he keeps insisting on the radio how funny he is, I find it annoying (as it is when he insists repeatedly on other virtues, some of which he does have).
Playboy in your Talmud
Dennis has his producer Allen Estrin (since December 2002) on.
Allen has published two books. He started out wanting to be a film historian (his wife Susan is a film historian and works for Disney). He wrote Hollywood Professionals: Capra, Cukor, Brown published in 1980. Then he realized he didn't want to write books about other people all his life. He wanted others to devote their lives to writing about him, which hasn't happened.
Allen keeps a one-page journal for every day of his adult life (he said he doesn't have a good memory). They reminisced about the day they met - November 25, 1991. They reminisced like lovers about the immediate affection they felt for each other.
When asked what he would most want to change about Dennis, Allen said nothing as Dennis the talk show host. But Allen wants Dennis the person to get more sleep because he does better as a talk show host when he's more rested (his voice sounds better etc). Dennis says he functions well on little sleep. "Not as well as you think you do," says Allen.
Allen also discourages Dennis to devote his radio show to his personal passions of pipe and cigar smoking, stereo equipment and other things with a limited audience. Dennis says his passion for his passion will keep people listening.
Allen came in as the producer of DP's TV show in 1994 after the show floundered in its first months. It was canceled after one season.
Dennis says people are shocked when they find him eating at places like Dennys and Subway. Not because the place is trafe (not kosher) but because it is low-market.
Prager says he eats out on average once a day.
Dennis says he's intimidated by tip jars. He says he tips a couple of thousand dollars a year.
Prager started lecturing at age 21. By age 25, he insisted on renting a car instead of being picked up at the airport. He had found that he was giving double lectures, because the people who picked him up expected him to talk to them.
Dennis Prager says he has never been so optimistic about America. He went through the early '70s believing the country was going down a bad path (due to the behavior of student radicals on campuses and the professors and administrators who gave in to them). He saw the naive belief that men and women are the same (of course they are equal in value). He saw professional societies such as that of psychiatrists, lawyers and pediatricians were taken over by leftists. This election is undoing this. Read what the Left has to say about the election -- that 59 million Americans are morons. That the Salem witch trials are being relived.
Prager is about as public a figure as Judaism has in North America. He has a nationally syndicated radio show and is the author of four acclaimed books. I love the ignorance and condescension of the media elite towards those who take religion seriously.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling urged voters on national TV to vote for President Bush.
On his radio show last year, Dennis Prager interviewed members of Stanford's football team and none of them were liberal. What makes college athletes a lonely group in political orientation on college campuses? Part of it might be the level playing field of sports. No affirmative action. Clear-cut results. Things that disturb many liberals, particularly with education.
On his radio show's final hour today, Prager had on Dick Morris.
Four or five years ago, Morris said on KABC radio in LA that Hillary Clinton's sexual preference may not be for men. I heard Prager say on the air on KABC how inappropriate that Morris comment was. How can anybody befriend and then betray someone as Morris had done to the Clintons?
Today Prager continually praised the acumen and wisdom of Morris's perspectives, including on Bill and Hillary Clinton.
DP spoke about the accidental killing of a Boston student by police trying to quell rioting over the Boston Red Sox game seven victory over the Yankees. DP says the liberal instinct is that we have more to fear from the police than the rioters while the conservative instinct is that we have more to fear from rioters than from police. "Let the word get out that rioting is not a sport, not a way to celebrate your team's victory. It is a vicious act that should be handled with force."
The more liberal the city, says DP, the more likely it is to have rioters.
When many talk show hosts take the day off and run a previously recorded show, they announce it. That way, people looking for live reactions to the day's events can go elsewhere.
I think it is dishonest that Prager never IDs when he is using reruns. I'll often find myself listening for an hour or more hoping to get Prager's perspective on the events of the day only to realize it is a rerun of a show recorded months or years ago.
On these reruns, Prager keeps imploring listeners to call him up at this certain number. So a lot of poor shmucks waste their time taking him at his word and try to call in.
On Dennis Prager's radio show 10/20/04, he had The New Republic (which has never endorsed a Republican for president) Editor-in-Chief Marty Peretz as a guest for an hour. Peretz says Kerry is bad for Israel but he can't endorse Bush.
Peretz says Bush is not quick on his feet verbally. That's a point made by dozens of pundits such as Peretz. One funny thing about that is how slow-on-their-feet pundits such as Peretz are. He was unimpressive. He was slow. He ummed and ahhed far more than the president does. He was unarticulate. He didn't listen. He didn't answer some questions. He went off in bizarre directions and insulted his host, Prager, over things Peretz didn't hear correctly. Peretz said Prager needed to have cobwebs cleared out of his brain because he didn't recognize genocide was going on in Rwanda. But Prager had clearly said he recognized that. Prager said that the Balkans situation was more difficult and therefore he wasn't a big supporter of our intervention in Bosnia (even though Prager did not oppose it).
Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman moderated a debate Monday night at
Temple Sinai (C) between conservative talkshow host Dennis
Prager and the leftist editor of the Forward, J.J.
Dennis Prager was in Miami this past weekend to lecture at a non-Orthodox synagogue on Yom Kippur. He spoke Friday night to 650 people. Saturday the temple heeded the city's hurricane warning (even though there was no evidence to believe the hurricane was headed towards Miami, it only drizzled) and closed down. Prager's hotel closed down. Virtually every non-Orthodox synagogoue in the city closed down (because its members watch TV and got hysterical over the hurriance passing hundreds of miles to the north). All the Orthodox synagogues in Miami stayed open on Saturday (because its members don't watch TV on holy days).
Prager noted that his Trump hotel said it was evacuating because of liability concerns. Out of fear of lawsuits. That is the same reason that propelled the city to urge its citizens to evacuate even though there was no evidence of threat and there was only a light drizzle.
Dennis Prager said on his radio show that lowlifes are more likely to vote Democrat. He claimed that most voter fraud over the past 50 years has been done by Democrats. He says Democrats are less likely to believe they are morally accountable for their behavior. Democrats are more likely to believe that the good they would do in voting twice outweighs the wrong of violating the law.
DP said Democrats opposed the requirement that one bring an ID to vote. Because they know that those who are more likely to vote fraudulently are more likely to vote Democrat.
Dennis said on his radio show that he asked a priest, minister, and rabbi Sunday in a public panel discussion what do you say to a parent who has lost a child... He said a couple of parents who had lost children came over to him in tears of gratitude...
Dennis didn't bother to say what he or the clergy recommended you say to a parent who has lost a child.
A parent who lost a child writes me: "There is nothing that can be said to a parent who has lost a child. All words and sentiments devolve into cliches at one point or another."
Dennis wondered where else you could get such uplift for two hours for only $33, yet DP said many people would've considered it expensive.